McCarthy’s Chickens Come Home to Roost
UPDATE: As I predicted (below), the Democrats failed to seize a historic opportunity by voting en mass, 208 to ZERO, to kick Kevin McCarthy to the curb, joining with eight Republicans to remove the House Speaker. Ironically, then, the Democrats sided with eight ultra-right wing Repugnants to oust the flip-flopping McCarthy, when they could have done so much more by compromising with the now-ousted Speaker. Way to go, Democrats.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives could – and soon very well might – end Kevin McCarthy’s speakership at any moment…which means they could also install Donald J. Trump as the new Speaker of the House, putting him second in line for the job he so desperately wants. (There is nothing in the Constitution or in the laws of the United States Code that specifies the Speaker must be a member of the House.)
It is absolutely ludicrous that a rabid, power-mad, feral creature like Matt Gaetz could actually depose even a deadbeat like McCarthy by a simple majority vote. It is also deeply troubling because, if Gaetz has the votes to depose McCarthy, he may also have the votes to install Donald J. Trump as speaker,
This possibility should terrify you because, in the current political climate, there are undoubtedly miscreants out there in the hinterlands who are thinking and talking about how a couple of quick assassinations could put Donald back into the Oval Office according to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 if he were to become Speaker between now and January 6, 2025.
Of course, the president and vice president would both have to be eliminated at the same time because, if the vice president were to be left standing, he or she would immediately become president according to the 25th Amendment and could then appoint a potential successor as vice president, which is the very circumstance that Harry S. Truman wanted to prevent when he proposed the Presidential Succession Act to make it impossible for a non-elected presidentially-appointed cabinet member to become vice president.
(If both the president and vice president are killed in the same calamity, the Speaker automatically becomes president.)
If President Biden were to resign, die, or become unable to serve, Kamala Harris would become president, but her vice presidential nominee would, however, need to be confirmed by simple majorities of both the House and the Senate to become legal…and in the case of a split Congress, such as we have now, that confirmation might not be forthcoming, creating a very unstable political situation with very fraught political consequences, especially if Donald Trump loses in 2024. (If you thought the Maggots were unhinged in 2020, 2024 will be ten times worse.)
This is one of the most dangerous flaws in the Constitution and the laws of the United States. The Speaker of the House is the SECOND most powerful person in the American political system. The idea that the Speakership – or a Supreme Court Justice, for that matter – can be confirmed by a simple majority is simply ludicrous because it can only result in a further polarization of the existing political system. Why does it take only a simple majority to confirm a vice presidential appointment when it takes a two-thirds majority to remove a president (or a Supreme Court justice) from office?
Right now, McCarthy’s speakership is in severe jeopardy…and so is our political system with it.
I don’t like Kevin McCarthy, and you probably don’t either (and who does for that matter? Nobody seems to like him.) Nevertheless, he is an essential element in the fragile see-saw of power that is hanging in the balance.
The Democrats, most of whom are just as idiotic as most Republicans, have explicitly refused to pull McCarthy’s chestnuts out of the fire in what has to be ranked as one of the stupidest political blunders ever made by a major political party.
Why so? Glad you asked.
It’s obvious (to me, at least) that, if the Democrats were to pull McCarthy’s chestnuts out of the fire, McCarthy would instantly be beholden to the Democrats to the extent that he could not make a move that would alienate his Democratic supporters. That’s real power and the Democrats are simply ignoring the opportunity.
For his part, McCarthy doesn’t even want to grab onto the lifeline that the Democrats are refusing to throw out to him, because he knows doing so would make him a “de facto Democrat,” unable to push the Republican “loot, rape, burn, and pillage” strategy of government.
Of course, the joke is that McCarthy CANNOT reject Democratic support. If the Speakership comes up for a vote and the Democrats vote for him to keep his seat, there’s nothing he can do about it. He may blush but he has to wince and take it.
So, right now, the Democrats have an amazing opportunity to shuffle a new deal and, of course, being Democrats, they are going to blow it…but it might not be their fault.
If the Democrats were to come out and vote to keep McCarthy as speaker, lo and behold, the Republicans would ALL refuse to vote for him and we would end up in the same crisis, unless there are a dozen Republicans who are willing to put country ahead of party.
Kevin McCarthy put country before the party when he agreed to the Democratic budget compromise suggestions but, then, so did other Republicans. McCarthy is now paying the price for putting country before party, sending a message to others who might stray from the Republican version of the straight and narrow.
Will the Democrats come to their senses and throw in with McCarthy?
Probably not. Hope against hope, but don’t hold your breath.